As the Winter starts to draw in, getting up is gradually getting later which means I'm not too tired and can catch up and recover from the early Summer sessions. I was glad to be out this morning, as it poured with rain yesterday so I was a bit stuck at home, although I did manage a quick trip to Winsford Flash early in the morning to see this pair of Snipe.
Today made up for all yesterday's rained off birding though. We of course started by putting all the nets up and a solitary Tawny Owl was calling close by, probably watching us. It was a lot cooler this morning than it has been and I needed my coat for the first time in months.
As we got in to the session, the birds came in in a steady pace, mainly Blackcap and Wrens, however as we continued along the nets we came to a Cetti's Warbler. I was stunned and amazed, and even though it was a re-trap from last week it was fantastic to study it close up, especially as it's the first time I've ever seen this species.
Throughout the rest of the course of the day we caught a couple of Chiffchaff, a beautiful male, a female Bullfinch, a few Blackbirds, a couple of Song Thrush and about five Gold Crests. It was really nice to see Kevin, Dan and Sophie; all the trainees were out today.
After our main session of ringing we went to check a couple of our Barn Owl boxes. The first one we couldn't check as the owner of the farm wasn't in. However with the second one we managed to ring three healthy chicks. These birds take a ring size of a G. This is quite a late second brood, however looking at them, they still had at least 2-3 weeks to go before they leave the nest.
Last year was a bad year for Barn Owls, so it is great to see second broods this year.
Just waiting for those Winter thrushes to show up now.